The lunar month lasts 29.53 days, meaning the infamous Full Moon Party of Koh Phangan happens once a month. I just happened to be on the island during such a party. My opinion then: I’m here. I might as well check it off that long list of life experiences.
Festivities are held on Haad Rin, a beautiful crescent-shaped beach with fine white sand and a calm sea.
However, once a month Haad Rin fills with some 50,000 party-goers clad in neon clothing and body paint, electronic music blares from every beachfront bar, Sangsom – a cheap Thai whiskey – and red bull are sold by the bucket load (literally), and the sea becomes polluted with boat traffic, serving as a public urinal for boys and girls alike.
Did I enjoy it? I enjoyed some of it. Body paint and drinking are always a good time.
Am I glad I went? Not really. There’s no feeling of fulfillment, no satisfaction in saying, ‘I’ve been there.’ My partner, Stonie, and I had lost each other in the crowds of drunken mayhem, and I spent between 2 am to 4 am looking for him until some young Belgian kid, a good Samaritan whose friends had also gone missing, gave me the taxi money I needed to get back to my bungalow on the other side of the island.
Would I do it again? In my opinion, the Full Moon Party is a single guy or gal’s game. Perhaps I am ‘getting too old for this shit,’ but I don’t think so. I love a good bash. I love it. Be that as it may, I wouldn’t go again and here’s why: I can drink and paint my body at any ole soiree on Koh Phangan with fewer people and waters worthy of a refreshing dip.
The following are a few blowouts sure to leave you with a well-deserved hangover and a head full of memories – or one lacking thereof. These are fabulous alternatives to the Full Moon Party sans all the shit (literally and figuratively).
The Eden Garden Party | From Haad Rin, take a boat 15 minutes for 150 Baht ($5) to get to this wingding. Views of the bay and lounge music make for a breath of fresh air. Free entry. 8 pm – daylight.
The Jungle Experience | Set in the jungle, of course! This unique affair provides food, drinks, dancing, a pool table, fire performances. 8 pm – daylight.
Sramanora Waterfall Party | Another party set in the jungle, this one providing a natural swimming pool. 8 pm – daylight.
If you’re going to Koh Phangan to live it up to house music and fluorescence, there’s a Facebook Page dedicated to keeping you informed. Visit Koh Phangan Party for regular updates. For more comprehensive information, visit SamuiPhanganInfo.com. If sitting back with a beer in hand, listening to acoustic sounds is more your cup of tea, you can find that too.
About the Author
Angela Allman is a writer and teacher living in Thailand. She gets her kicks from scuba diving, snowboarding, and napping and spends much of her time toasting over-priced wine to the blank page.